“Onward” is a very personal story for director and writer Dan Scanlon. His father passed away before he was born and he says he spent most of his life wondering what could have been.
That’s the inspiration behind the world he created in Disney Pixar’s “Onward.” The film explores the relationship between two brothers whose father died when they were young. It takes place in a modernized fantasy world, where magic has, well, lost its magic. This world is filled with less-than glamorous unicorns, and mythical creatures with everyday jobs.
The teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot, are played by Marvel stars Tom Holland ("Spider-Man: Homecoming") and Chris Pratt ("Guardians of the Galaxy"). The Lightfoot brothers go on a journey to discover if there is still a little magic left in their world in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him. The film takes you on an unexpected mythical and emotional journey.
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It’s easy to see why Pratt and Holland were great choices for these roles. They are physically very different in body and sound, and they are both very close to their real life brothers. And in typical brotherly fashion, would never pass up a chance to poke fun at their siblings.
“In this movie they love each other, but in real life we hate our brothers,” Pratt jokes.
“My brothers are awful, they’re terrible people,” Holland adds.
But in reality they have both been very public about their close relationship with their family. In the film, the brotherly relationship the Lightfoots have is complicated by different personalities, an age gap and general teenage lack of communication about their feelings.
This mythical world is colored with creative characters like the Manticore voiced by Octavia Spencer, Colt Bronco voiced by Mel Rodriguez and Laurel Lightfoot voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But at its core, “Onward” is a story about brothers and family. The magic is just a bonus.
“It’s really a powerful relationship,” Pratt says. ”And I know personally, our relationships with our brothers are a really big part of our lives. So to be in a movie that puts a microscope on the relationship of two brothers, it’s really moving and powerful.”
“Onward” opens nationwide March 6th.